Among the many concerns cited to explain why the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has removed the number of recoveries in the CNMI on its website’s tally, Esther Muña says that CHCC is not comfortable using the term “recovery,” which she said is misleading.
“To say that someone has recovered from [COVID-19 infection], what does that mean?” asked Muña, who is CHCC’s chief executive officer. “…Saying an individual would never have the virus again or they don’t completely have the virus [is] kind of misleading, so we [basically] removed that information,” she said.
Although, Guam records every time a patient has “recovered,” CHCC has opted to remove that information.
Muña also says that it’s to protect the identity of the person who is infected. “We don’t release it…especially since it identifies the demographics and the demographics can definitely link to someone, especially if you know that somebody had come off a flight,” she said.
Similarly, in releasing information on someone who has tested positive, CHCC prefers to get that information out as soon as possible, with the most accurate information. According to Muna, this makes it easier to control rumors.
She declined to respond when asked if CHCC has retested “recovered” patients.
CHCC has also been mapping out which area of the CNMI, including Rota and Tinian, where people get tested the most and also what village needs to get tested more. Based on this, Muña said, the first few days of the community-based testing at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport testing site mostly covered people who live on the east side of Saipan.
With COVID-19 being a rapidly evolving situation, Muña advises people who have tested negative to ensure that they still follow all guidelines and rules. She added since there is no vaccine yet, the risk for a person who has tested negative is low if you continue to practice proper hygiene, social distancing, and washing your hands.
To date, the CNMI has 30 confirmed cases, with nine active cases and two deaths.
COVID-19 in Guam
According to the Joint Information Center in Guam, one new case of COVID-19 was reported yesterday by the Department of Defense and was identified through contact tracing.
To date, there have been 186 confirmed cases in Guam, with five deaths, 169 released from isolation, and 12 active cases.